Infrastructure by the Numbers

October 20, 2011

I woke up at 5:34 and immediately texted “ctabus 929” to 41411. Response: “North Avenue & Larrabee 72 to Harlem due & 19 MIN.” Just enough time to brush my teeth and run over the bus stop. 15 minutes later, I replied “R”. Great, the bus was still on time. I was glad I wouldn’t have to wait too long in the rain.

By 6:15 I was on the Blue Line platform, waiting for the El to take me from Damen to O’Hare. I really lucked out that the public transit was running on schedule this morning. 40 minutes later, the train rolled into the airport station. I flew through the security check, pre-printed boarding pass already in hand. Now, where was flight 5976 departing from?

At gate E2A, I waited another 15 minutes until the small regional jet arrived. We boarded at 7:39, and I promptly took my place in seat 02A. It was too small for my 9x14x22 carry-on – barely large enough for my 175 lb. frame. After the plane reached 30,000 feet, I took a nap.

The flight arrived on time. Was that 10:32 AM Central or Eastern time zone? The final leg of my journey just required one last mode of transportation. “One taxi to the Memphis Downtown Marriott, please. Will that be $5.00 pull charge, $1.50 per mile, and $0.50 per waiting minute?” By the time I estimated the fee and computed a 20% tip, we were already there. “Let’s just make that $35.”

I arrived at the hotel just in time for the opening plenary session of the ASCE 2011 Annual Conference. “What’s up first? Numbers on infrastructure?” Here we go again.

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